Approaching Advent by Jacob Sensenig
November should be a “calm before the storm” season, but for the Music and Worship Arts Ministry it often seems like the “storm before the even bigger storm.” The choirs and orchestra are feverishly preparing music for the Advent and Christmas season and from my vantage point as the person who is planning it all, Thanksgiving often seems like a holiday that gets in the way of getting prepared for Christmas. I recognize that doesn’t sound very thankful and so after those thoughts invade my mind, I repent and make a conscious effort to slow down and give thanks to God. I’m also making a conscious effort this year to not only be intentional about Thanksgiving, but also about Advent.
The first Sunday of Advent begins on December 2nd and that leads us into 40 days of preparation for the birth of Christ. Advent, which is celebrated by many Christians around the year, is actually the beginning of the Western liturgical year, and I’m grateful that TBC celebrates this season. Advent literally means “coming,” and during this season we prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ by exploring the themes of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. Christmas technically doesn’t begin until Christmas Day, although we will break tradition and still sing Christmas carols earlier in the Advent season.
I think that this Advent season I am most excited for the way the Behold the Lamb of God presentation by Andrew Peterson will begin our new liturgical year as a church. The songs in this concert powerfully tell the Christmas story from the Exodus of the Israelites in the Old Testament to the birth of Christ. It will be unlike anything you’ve ever heard or experienced. Peterson and the friends and musicians that travel with him are not only some of the best musicians in Nashville, but they are also some of the best storytellers. They understand that any creative impulse or musical talent they have has been gifted by God and that spirit fills this entire production.
Please, take the month of November and invite your friends and neighbors to come and join you for this concert. You might even go a step further and purchase a few extra tickets to give to people to invite them to Trinity Baptist Church. There will be no better way to begin the Advent season and I truly believe that this evening will be a transformational one for our congregation.